- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 28, 2017

President Trump talked trade and security Saturday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as the president began a series of calls with foreign leaders.

The most closely watched call will be with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who loomed over the presidential election as he was blamed for email hacks that hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

On the call with Mr. Abe, the president broached the sticky subject of trade in the aftermath of his decision to officially pull the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a long-negotiated trade deal that includes Japan and 10 other Pacific rim countries and was a top priority of former President Obama’s Asia policy.

Mr. Trump has said that he wants bilateral trade deals that are easier to get out of if the terms prove unsatisfactory for the U.S.

The two leaders expressed a common commitment to deepen the bilateral trade and investment relationship, according to the White House.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Abe agreed to meet next month in Washington.

Discussing the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance, Mr. Trump affirmed an “ironclad U.S. commitment” to Japan’s security and the two leaders agreed to cooperate on addressing the threat posed by North Korea, according to the White House.

Mr. Trump also has calls scheduled with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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